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Dragon Tattoo Meaning: the Ultimate Guide

In this article, we will decipher the meaning of dragon tattoos. The symbolism of this legendary creature is rich and complex. Therefore, we have made a non-exhaustive list with the main dragon tattoos that we find interesting to analyze. ?

The dragon has always had a powerful symbolic power in most countries and cultures. Although its representation varies, some of its characteristics are universal. In general, dragons (and dragon tattoos) are associated with strength, wisdom, prosperity, luck and masculinity.

The fabulous beast is closely linked to many civilizations around the world, from European folklore to Middle Eastern mythologies and Asian influences. Let’s discover together the meaning of the dragon tattoo in different societies!

Chinese Dragon Tattoo Meaning

The Chinese Dragon is considered a symbol of power and good omen. In Chinese mythology, dragons are numerous and adored. Each of them are said to have unique supernatural gifts and powers, including the ability to control various elements including water.

In terms of meaning, a Chinese dragon tattoo embodies and symbolizes strength, power, wisdom, longevity and luck. Unlike the Western dragon, Chinese dragons are not violent, they are seen as protective guardians useful to mankind.

In imperial China, the dragon was used by the emperor to represent sovereign power. The Chinese dragon was also associated with nobility and achievement. It was used on the flag and coat of arms of the Qing Dynasty from 1644 to 1912. Even in modern China, those who excel in one area are considered “dragons”.

The Chinese dragon is ubiquitous in Chinese art, architecture and embroidery. It is a popular choice for dragon tattoos.

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chinese dragon tattoo meaning

Japanese Dragon Tattoo Meaning

The Japanese dragon has a slender body, without wings, and has only three claws. It represents freedom and luck. In all its representations, the Japanese dragon is known for its miraculous powers and great wisdom. Dragons are among the most important creatures in Japanese culture. Some even believe that the first Japanese emperor was the descendant of dragons. They are usually aquatic creatures, although some Japanese legends describe the presence of flying dragons that live in the sky.

In Japan, dragons represent the protection of family, relatives and home as well as power and permanence. The Japanese dragon is truly considered a defensive guardian and a source of happiness. Therefore, a Japanese dragon tattoo is very suitable for a strong person who will stand out to help his or her neighbor or loved ones.

Japanese tattoos have a special style, they use bright colors and large patterns to create a unique aesthetic. A Japanese dragon tattoo is best suited for body parts such as the back, shoulders, arms or hips.

A Japanese dragon tattoo often includes elements such as waves or water. The reason? Water represents life for the Japanese and it is also the natural habitat of dragons.

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japanese dragon tattoo meaning

Western Dragon Tattoo Meaning

Dragons appear in myths and legends of cultures around the world. In European folklore, they are described as the most vile and evil mythical creatures. They look like demonic lizards and are unfortunately famous for capturing princesses, stealing cattle and pillaging villages. Western dragons generally master the element of fire. Only the bravest of knights and the most fervent of saints can defeat these fierce beasts. ?

A western dragon tattoo represents fiery anger, revenge, strength, independence, danger, greed, wealth and rebellion. These tattoos for men and women also focus on the positive aspects of the dragon such as courage and faith.

This kind of tattoo gives the wearer a sense of protection, it also builds self-confidence on the women’s side. If you are one of those people who prefer a more vicious and impressive dragon style, Western dragon tattoo designs are for you.

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western dragon tattoo meaning

Asian Dragon Tattoo Meaning

Dragons are one of the most important symbols of Asian culture and mythology. They are an integral part of myths and legends around the world, but dragons are said to have originated in Chinese culture more than 6000 years ago.

Their ancient roots and cultural importance have made the Asian dragon one of the most popular styles of tattoos for tattoo artists. The aesthetics and significance of Asian dragon tattoos have made them popular among many cultures around the globe.

An Asian dragon tattoo symbolizes freedom, power and luck. In Asia, dragons also represent balance and are considered “noble beasts” that offer wisdom and protection. Depending on the region of East Asia, dragons are represented differently.

Since ancient China, legends and stories about dragons have spread to neighboring countries. Since then, they have been anchored in the philosophy, and even in the religions of a multitude of Asian countries such as Korea, Japan, Vietnam, China, Taiwan and many others. If you like Asian culture and are looking for visual expression, you can adorn your skin with an Asian dragon tattoo.

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asian dragon tattoo meaning

Red Dragon Tattoo Meaning

You may find black tattoos boring, because in reality you have a wide range of colors to choose from. One of the most famous is the red dragon tattoo. The dragon is a very famous symbol because of its characteristics. Its shape makes it possible to place this tattoo almost anywhere on the body (back, wrist, arms, thigh, chest) and be sure to get a stunning result. ?

The red dragon tattoo is popular because it gives the wearer a unique character that everyone would like to get from a print on the skin. For your information, here are some hidden meanings of the red dragon tattoo:

?The color red is a symbol of courage, love and passion. If you see yourself as a person with a strong character, the red dragon tattoo will complement your personality.
?Red is a fierce and warm color. On the other hand, people with a red tattoo are known to be romantic and emotional.
?The dragon is a mythological creature that symbolizes strength. For this reason, you may choose a red dragon tattoo if you intend to assert a confident attitude or a character trait such as bravery. A red dragon tattoo for women is related to charm.

Some women simply choose this kind of design because men find it attractive. So, to enhance your beauty and self-confidence, you can choose this whimsical design that is very attractive.

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red dragon tattoo meaning

Celtic Dragon Tattoo Meaning

In Celtic culture, dragons are creatures symbolizing wisdom, protection and spirituality. They are considered the guardians of mystical realms and have great power. The flag of Wales displays a dragon. The legendary King Arthur is said to have carried a dragon on his standard. Ultimately, Celtic dragons have been appearing on flags, armor and clothing for thousands of years.

The Celtic dragon tattoo is of unparalleled complexity. It has deep links with Celtic folklore and a true symbolic meaning. In Celtic society, it was once believed that these demon-looking dragons could foretell the future and had magical healing powers. The Celtic dragon is usually drawn with many intertwined knots to illustrate the ups and downs of life.

In Celtic art, the dragon is often drawn eating its tail, symbolizing immortality and the natural cycle of life. If you have a Celtic heritage, you can choose from many options for your Celtic dragon tattoo. These fierce beasts are a visual complement to your body art collection, they also incorporate a spirit of fearlessness into your style.

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Celtic dragon tattoo meaning

Nordic Dragon Tattoo Meaning (Viking)

Among the Vikings, the dragon is a symbol of strength and bravery. Dragons have long been known as the most powerful mystical creature in northern mythology. They are famous for their splendid and sometimes fearsome appearance. There are representations of dragons on buildings, carved on runic stones and created in jewelry.

The Viking dragon tattoo is one of the most symbolic tattoos, with most of the designs being deeply rooted in northern tradition, culture and religious beliefs. For people of Scandinavian origin, they are an excellent way to honor their ancestors and pay tribute to their origins. But they are also powerful, exotic and bold statements for those who choose to decorate their skin with such designs.

A Viking dragon tattoo builds confidence at night and brings out your warrior soul. The look of Viking designs often reflects a strong character such as a thirst for victory and achievement. The Viking dragon tattoo is a great choice if you’re a fan of the history of these Scandinavian pirates.

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nordic dragon tattoo meaning Viking

Tribal Dragon Tattoo Meaning

Since dragons have been part of almost every culture for hundreds of years, there are many sources of visual inspiration for choosing the type of tattoo to make. Tribal art is one of them, it is an ancient tattoo practice dating back thousands of years.

The tribal dragon tattoo is a true classic. The tribal style is often illustrated by patterns made of curved and pointed lines. It reached its peak in the 90s, and gradually developed to create even more complex tribal patterns.

The meaning of a tribal dragon tattoo depends on the type of dragon chosen and the culture of the tribe associated with the design. However, it often results in a symbol of balance, power, spirituality and connection with nature. It often conveys the story of the wearer.

A tribal dragon tattoo is both bold and graphic. The “stencil” finish of tribal tattoos is emblematic and eye-catching. Western-style dragons are very beautiful when done in this style, as the silhouettes and points imitate the flames and claws of the beast to perfection. If you are looking for a fierce dragon tattoo, the tribal type is a great choice for you.

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tribal dragon tattoo meaning

Gothic Dragon Tattoo Meaning

A Gothic dragon tattoo embodies the power, strength and primary instincts of humanity. In these tattoos, the dragon often has a provocative attitude, as if he is ready to confront those who challenge his authority. People who wear this motif are robust and fearless.

Gothic tattoos are characterized by a unique font style. Any inscription in this font automatically becomes Gothic art. The colors black and red are appreciated, as well as the spiral, flower and skull patterns. ☠

These Gothic dragon tattoos are chosen by people who love the dark side of life. It may sound strange, but it’s really not that unusual. Since the dawn of time, mankind has shown a healthy curiosity about the cycle of life and death. Man has always wondered what happens to the soul after death and has developed symbols that embody this curiosity.

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gothic dragon tattoo meaning

Koi and Dragon Tattoo Meaning

The colorful koi fish are among the most emblematic symbols of traditional Asian tattoos. They are symbolic tattoos that can have great meanings for their bearers. ?

The carp koi dragon tattoo usually includes an Asian dragon and a carp koi fish. The dragon represents strength, power and ferocity while the koi carp represents perseverance and willpower. Together they form a work that alludes to the legend of the koi carp, which represents transformation, rebirth and fulfillment.

Legend has it that a koi carp swam against the current in the Yellow River in China in order to climb a waterfall. He was slowed down by demons who mocked him, but after persevering for more than a hundred years, he managed to reach the top and was rewarded by the gods who transformed the koi carp into a golden dragon. ?

A carp koi and dragon tattoo can signify a new beginning, a new birth or renewal. It fits easily with people who are looking for something new, who are overcoming difficulties or who have just accomplished great things in their lives.

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koi dragon tattoo meaning

Tiger and Dragon Tattoo Meaning

The tiger and the dragon are both considered fierce, relentless and extraordinarily powerful opponents. When these two animals are brought together, the meaning of the image becomes much more subtle, and forms an excellent tattoo inspired by Buddhism.

A tiger and dragon tattoo represent two energetically opposed forces as the symbol of yin yang. Displaying them together is traditional in Buddhist and Chinese culture. The tiger and the dragon form a symbol of the sacred balance of forces between two very different personalities. Both are Buddhist symbols that refer to two very different yet very similar spirits. These two mortal enemies are closely linked by destiny. They respectively express an aggressive and calm attitude. ??

The tiger is perceived as a fiery being, he is determined to achieve his goals and will not hesitate to rush to get there. As for the dragon, it is characterized by patience, wisdom and perception. It is an understanding being, who does not act without thinking.

The position of the two beasts on the tattoo can have various meanings. If the tiger dominates the dragon or is placed above the dragon, evil and hostility is victorious. On the other hand, if the dragon dominates or is above the tiger, good and serenity triumphs. A tiger and dragon tattoo embodies vigor, power and fervor. It is perfectly adapted to people looking for stability and balance in their lives.

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tiger dragon tattoo meaning

Phoenix and Dragon Tattoo Meaning

The phoenix (vermilion bird) and the dragon (azure dragon) are among the four legendary animals of Chinese mythology. Thus the phoenix and dragon tattoos express the following characteristics :

?The Renaissance and the Resurrection
?Victories and Challenges
?Power and Strength
?The Sun (symbol of life and hope)

A phoenix dragon tattoo symbolizes birth, death and rebirth, as well as eternity, strength and renewal. The very idea that this mythical bird is reborn from its ashes signifies a journey through time, through fire or adversity. It is an excellent way to express transformation or the survival of a challenge.

A phoenix and dragon tattoo also represents the union between husband and wife (yin and yang). It is also a symbol of equity and harmony present within the couple. These two celestial animals complement each other tremendously. This tattoo is intended for people who have experienced significant changes in their lives.

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phoenix dragon tattoo meaning

Select Your Dragon Tattoo With Caution !

We have just decoded the different meanings related to dragon tattoos. Now, this aesthetic art has no more secrets for you. Many people identify themselves with this incredible creature that exudes powerful symbolism.

The choice of a permanent tattoo is not easy, rest assured, we offer ephemeral dragon tattoos that will satisfy your desires. Unlike permanent tattoos, they decorate your skin for a limited time. Our designs are incredible and eye-catching.

We strongly advise you to choose an ephemeral dragon tattoo, the choice of a real tattoo is not easy, and it is irreversible!

Click on the image below to access our special collection of ephemeral dragon tattoos. ?

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  1. Great post!

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